Inside Ukyo's restaurant the spatula-wielding chef paced back and forth with her hands behind her back while behind her grill. Though, she neglected to take her customer's orders while doing so. The moment that she had returned, her customers had gone inside and gathered around the counter. They seemed annoyed with how she didn't seem to notice them.
Ukyo considered her grasp on reality to be rather firm. As firm as one that involved cursed ducks, cats, pigs and girls could be. That version of reality was, of course, very flawed when someone was pretending to be someone's lover whom obviously didn't have the guts to ask out the one he really loves himself. Not to mention it must have been some sort of curse or trick or scheme that Ranma and Ryoga were working on. But... Ranma wasn't into men! Why even go this far? Was there a reason for all of this? Ryoga was far too idiotic to be able to cast any spells by himself. There was only one conclusion Ukyo could come up with and she knew that Ryoga must have manipulated Ranma into a relationship!
'That has to be it! My Ranma honey wouldn't really be into guys unless Ryoga messed with his head! How dare he ruin Ranma honey's head with his weird perverted thoughts!' Ukyo thought. She squinted her eyes shut and turned her head to the person calling to her.
"WHAT!" she demanded, glaring at the offending speaker.
The man was a rather bold old man with a turtle neck sweater. "I'd like to order something, missy!"
It was then and there that Ukyo noticed the small group of people. The okonomiyaki chef sighed and knew that she was open for at least two more hours and money was the very thing that kept Ukyo clothed and from having to live out in the streets. "What would you like...?"
Ranma & Ryoga
When the two had returned, they casually played innocent with everyone about their situation; the one involving Ranma being Ryoga's 'fake', possibly temporary, girlfriend was, of course, left out. The rest, they explained, had to do with the dinner double date invite was explained to Soun and Genma(since the batteries in their Game Boys died out). -Ranma, of course, left out the strange kissing scene with them and made sure to make it seem like they had only been holding onto each other and eventually Kuno had gotten the message. Though, now came the hard part...
"Now Ranma, you know we can't afford another mouth to feed!" Soun replied sternly.
"Indeed! Have you gone insane boy-" Genma said, stopping to turn to Soun. "Hey!" Genma growled.
Sound raised one of his hands, stopping Genma from complaining to him. "Now's not the time Saotome, besides, you get my point."
"Look ! It's not like he'll be living here for free! And the guy can't go home 'cause he gets lost all the time!" Ranma explained, making Ryoga fume while doing so. Ryoga was entirely aware of his directional problem and didn't need to be reminded of his other curse.
"You don't need to worry about paying for me, I've got my own food. I've been doing well up to this point," Ryoga explained, placing his hands in his pockets.
"Hey, yeah... I've been wondering how you've been able to get so lost and always seem to be able to eat and buy souvenirs." Akane said, making herself known as she had been standing near them. To Akane's left was Kasumi who seemed delighted at the idea of Ryoga staying over.
"I gotta' say, I've been wondering that too..." Ranma said, turning to him.
"Yes, please do explain," Soun said, hoping that it wouldn't be something stupid.
"When I manage to wander home I see that either my mom or dad leave me some money on the counter, they usually give me enough to last a good while," Ryoga said before digging into his pockets and revealing a decent sized stack of bills. "I only buy cups of ramen from time to time because they're not too pricey and even the ones that do cost alot, don't run me too much yen."
Soun's eyes widened when he saw that stack of bills. "And would you say that there is more yen at your home?" he asked, thinking of where that money could go. Namely his wallet and certainly a positive way to fuel Genma's and his Poke'mon addiction.
"It's been awhile since I've been home... maybe?" Ryoga replied.
From there Soun went over to Ryoga and patted him on the back, seemingly glad to just be near him. "It's an honor to welcome you to our home!"
Genma followed and clapped his hands together. "Glad to have another working hand around here... or atleast one that has money," Genma said, before bowing once. The smile on his face never fading as he did so.
Ryoga blushed in embarrassment but was humble to be accepted into the Tendo home. "T-thank you, !"
"Please my good lad, call me, Soun!" The father of the Tendo sisters insisted. From there he turned to Genma and waved the small stack of yen bills. "Say... are you thinking what I'm thinking, Saotome?"
"Poke'mon cards, batteries and sake?" Genma exclaimed, pulling out his gray game boy and waving it around; the batteries dead of course. The two moved away from Ryoga and decided to take their leave, they had no business with anyone at the Tendo dojo and sake and Poke'mon was the main enjoyment of their life at the moment. The two soon-to-be drunks walked to the door, happily cheering as if they had won the lottery. This spectacle was watched by the occupants of the Tendo home, neither one of them had anything to say.
Once it seemed that they were out of sight, Soun poked his head from around the corner. "Oh, Ranma be a good boy and help Ryoga get to his home, I'm sure there is much collecting that is needed to be done there!"
"No! Wait-" Ranma didn't get to finish as the sound of the front door was heard being shut. "Damn it, I'm tired and those two want me to go to your place now!" Ranma complained, shaking her head.
"I'll go with you two!" Akane said, hoping to learn about the events of the double date; such as the details pertaining to Kuno never disturbing her ever again.
Ryoga turned his head to Akane and stared at her for a moment before nodding his head, putting on a mask of kindness. "Of course, Akane."
Ranma rolled her eyes, this was certainly something new. Ryoga being kind to Akane, it's not liked it mattered to her. They were just going to go to Ryoga's, pick up some clothes and souvenirs, then get the money in order for Ryoga to board at the Tendo home. It seemed sort of pointless to Ranma, didn't Ryoga get easily lost around his house as well? Yet. She was scared of losing a good friend like Ryoga, he would prove to be a good ally, if only she could get him to accept her as a friend. One thing plagued her though, what did Ryoga feel for Akane now? The chat they had before was centered around her being romantically involved with Akane, did that mean that Ryoga was no longer chasing after Akane? And would Ryoga really make her hold up to the title of her being his girlfriend? That still creeped her out a bit, but she had to keep telling herself that she was doing this for them to finally be on good terms. Ranma felt herself gulp, for reasons unknown; even to herself.
"Come on, Ranma," Akane said, already heading to the door with Ryoga.
"Huh?" Ranma said, looking around and noticing that the two had left Ranma to her thoughts. "Hey! You can't leave without me!" Ranma said, following the two out the door.
The middle daughter of the Tendo family had been trying to return home with her stealth skills; as to avoid being seen by Ranma and Ryoga. The roof tops provided her with a good way to move around as a free agent; Ranma and Ryoga being none the wiser. It had been just her, monitoring the two cash-cows, smiling the entire time. That was until she saw the only display of affection they harbored for each other that got to her. To think that Nabiki would come this far only to be stricken with remorse. She had gotten what she wanted, evidence in order to finally end the bet between who would get with Ranma. And now of all moments, she lost the nerve because she heard what Ranma and Ryoga said, Ranma pretending to be Ryoga's fake girlfriend in order to keep him around.
"And I was so close this time..." Nabiki said, sighing in disappointment. "Those two knuckleheads make a good couple, doubt they would ever get together at this point if the whole school knew about these," she said, mentioning the film in her hands.
Now that she came to this conclusion, she could only walk home and try to find some way out of becoming Happosai's model. Could she get him to void the agreement between them, just because she wasn't able to go through with her operation? Now wasn't the time to start caring. This was the problem with becoming a business woman, one has to discard emotion in order to achieve anything in this crazy world.
"The only way to make up for this is to get those two together for real..." Nabiki concluded. If they were together then they would have no need for shame, they could push past honor and come to love one another. That came with a problem though, her sister was extremely stubborn and would probably meddle in her affairs. Nabiki figured she'd better get home and deal with her Happosai problem first, but before that she had one more thought.
"Ranma you better know who to choose when this is all over..." she paused, looking towards the sky. "Ryoga or Akane."
Ranma, Akane & Ryoga
As far as trios went, this was certainly the oddest trio to date. The air between them was thick with tension. Akane went with Ranma and Ryoga in order to see if her suspicions about Ranma and Ryoga's sexuality were correct. She hoped to Kami(God) that nothing had happened between them. Why was the idea of finally getting rid of Kuno so attractive to her that she would allow Ranma to use Ryoga for one of her schemes.
There didn't seem to be much coming from Ryoga, he seemed to be avoiding her. That was odd, but there was always Ranma and she was always a chatter box when Akane egged her on. The question was... should she be subtle about it or ask it in a clever manner?
"So..." Akane said, looking to the ground as she spoke. "How was your double date, did you get Kuno to leave you alone?"
Ranma's and Ryoga's eyes widened. Why did Akane have to ask her that question? Couldn't she just accept that Ranma had to do what she had to do? And now she wanted details. How should she play this? Akane would want to know specific details, that much she could tell.
"Uh... I pretended to be Ryoga's girlfriend and that got Kuno to back off. Why'd ya' ask?" Ranma wondered, her face becoming a bit grim as she remembered attacking The Lost Boy with her lips. Not intentionally of course.
"But what happened?" Akane asked again, trying to play it off as innocently probing for answers.
Ryoga prayed that Ranma would be able to do what he believed was Ranma's best trait, pull some crap to get them out of this situation. "Uh..." Ranma said, reaching up to her head and trying to remove the flower that Kasumi had placed on her head. It wasn't until now that she realized she lost it.
"Well...?" Akane said.
"Uh..." Ranma blushed, scratching the side of her mouth and then suddenly finding the ground interesting. "You see..." Ranma paused. There weren't many scapegoats she could use at this moment, but luckily for her, one had appeared. "Look, Ryoga's house!"
Ranma pointed, Ryoga looked out in front of him and it was indeed his house. Thank goodness for Ranma's ability to point out his home whenever he needed her. Akane turned to Ryoga's home and smiled, why hasn't she taken the time to ever help Ryoga get there? She knew where it was and it would be nice to get more gifts from Ryoga. Maybe she was always occupied with Ranma and her antics to really take the time for such things.
Ranma, Ryoga and Akane stood before the Hibiki home. They were amazed at how well kept it seemed, with how much Ryoga's parents were gone, one would assume that the place would be cluttered with dust and all sorts of pests entering the house. The only option was that Ryoga's dog, Checkers, had been trained in the art of house cleaning.
"Checkers!" Ryoga called out, waiting for a response.
"Huh... are you sure that dog doesn't have the same problem as you, eh, Ryoga?" Ranma asked, smirking.
"Arf!" Checkers barked, jumping to the outside fence of the Hibiki home. The black and white colored dog stared at the three visitors with a dull and vacant stare, her tongue sticking out while she waited for them to do something. When she saw that Ryoga had kneeled down and held his arms out to her, she smiled and charged the lost boy and tackled him into a licking fit.
Akane placed her hands to her knees and smiled at the interaction between them. "They're so cute together!"
"Can we get into the house? I don't wanna' spend too much time here," Ranma stated, crossing her arms. Ryoga rose to his feet and held Checkers back, all while smiling.
"Alright," Ryoga said, standing up as his dog Checkers smiled and wagged her tail. The oddly colored canine strolled over to the home, content with having her master return for a while. Though when she looked over her shoulder she saw that Ryoga was walking in an entirely different direction. The dog lowered her head and shook her head.
Ranma felt a sweat drop appear on her head. "Man, you're hopeless."
Akane glared at Ranma and then turned to Ryoga, running over to him and grabbing his arm. "Come on, Ryoga!" Akane shouted, shooting Ranma a look. "It's not his fault he has a directional problem!" Akane huffed, walking the stuttering lost boy into the home. Ranma felt her cheeks heat up and held her hands to her sides, obviously irritated with how Akane was holding onto Ryoga. The red head's eyes widened and she had to compose herself.
"Hey! Wait up!" she cried, following them inside.
Once everyone had gotten into the home, Ryoga was ordered to remain in his room for the meantime while they searched his house for the yen. Ryoga felt that it was unfair that Ranma and Akane were allowed to search his house while he had to wait in his room. He knew he was directional challenged but did they have to be so obvious about his condition that they shouted for him to remain in the room. The least they could have done was heard him out so he could tell them where his parents hide the yen. Was his curse that bad? The lost boy stared out the window of his room and sat on his bed. The bed that felt unknown to him, the bed he wouldn't spend anytime on.
"I shouldn't let this get me down..." Ryoga pouted, concealing his annoyance. Not even Checkers was in the room with him, talk about man's best friend. He sighed and allowed his eyes to close for a second, feeling that now was as good a anytime to consider his feelings towards Akane. Was it odd that he still felt awkward around Akane? Was he still into the idea of being with her? Then again, he probably would have reacted that way to any woman grabbing him and leading him somewhere. He was never very good with women, sad, because he could tell that maybe one girl would like him. Or he assumed that some girl must like him... and his pig related curse. He felt that drove him away from really being with anyone, in any relationship. Why hadn't he considered his fake relationship with Ranma? Well, it was fake. Ranma was indulging him in a strange fantasy that involved him making out with Ranma's girl side. Would he take that up? No, there was too much disgust between him and Ranma to ever really take up the red head's offer. Did it hurt that he had thought about it? Ryoga shook his head and looked out to his window. -
"Why can't I figure anything out..." Ryoga wondered, once again caught in one of those moments where he wasn't able to figure out what was going on in his mind. Did he feel unworthy when around Akane? He had technically allowed Ranma to take Akane at any moment, literally giving up his dream girl because of how lost he felt when he saw Akane's concern for Ranma. And why did Ranma make his heart ache? It was as if something was caught in his throat whenever he recalled any moments about him and her female side. It wasn't possible for him to like her! No! Damn it! He down right refused to have any attraction to her! 'I can't let that bastard into my life! Why am I even doing this! Why can't I just leave and get on with my life!' Ryoga thought, gritting his teeth. 'But I can't help but to like Ranma's girl side...' Ryoga continued to ponder, looking down at his bed. 'No wait... damn it! Argh! I can't stop thinking about that kiss!' Ryoga shouted in his mind, flashes of all his kisses with the red head returning to his head.
Her smile, her laugh, the way she held onto him. How she called his name when they were trying to get Kuno to leave them alone, how she purred when she was suddenly insane with emotion. He even thought about how she put him at ease. How she was the only girl he could talk to without really being scared. "Maybe... Maybe if Ranma was really a girl... I'd..." Ryoga gulped, feeling as though tears were going to come from his eyes. "I'd... I'd..."
"I'd love h-"
'Why am I even thinking about this! Ranma's girl side is a curse! She's just a damn illusion! How the hell could I possibly fall for that stuck up jerk!' Ryoga demanded from his mind. When compared to the hell Ryoga had claimed Ranma brought him, this was by far was the worst. This was the ultimate hell, feeling romantically awkward to his hated enemy. Not to mention he wasn't unable to even recognize the feelings he once held so dear for Akane.
Exhaustion came with owning her own restaurant and the female chef would have to take this burden until she married her Ranma honey. That was if she was able to get her Ranma honey to explain himself and beg her for her forgiveness! That wasn't her goal right now. Her goal was figuring out what had happened to Ryoga and his affection towards Akane. Their deal was to help one another when it came to getting the ones they wanted. It wasn't supposed to be Ryoga taking the prize she wanted!
Ukyo seemed to be roaming the streets, but she was, in fact, going to the Tendo home in order to discuss her complaint with Ryoga. That was, until she heard the shrill cry of Ranma's girl side form an entirely different direction. "What could Ranma be doing over there? And why does he have to be a girl?" Ukyo demanded. And thus began Ukyo's hunt for the cursed pig boy.
The lost boy had now reached a moment of calm quietness, his mind was sore from trying to properly organize his thoughts. He could hear the calls and shouts of Ranma and Akane searching the house, both of them telling each other which area to check next. And he swore he heard Ranma mock Akane for not searching an area well enough.
"Hey!" a hushed whisper called out to him, then came a light tapping of his window.
"Ukyo...?" Ryoga gasped. The lost boy moved away from his bed, shocked to see that she knew where he lived... and why she hadn't just used the front door like a normal person. "What are you doing here?" he asked, opening the window to his room.
"I'm here to ask something!" Ukyo demanded, keeping her voice as low she could, which proved to be difficult with how enraged she was at this moment.
The lost boy leaned back from her, his eyes widening. "W-what could you possibly wanna' know?"
"I wanna' know why you were making out with Ranma honey, that's what?" Ukyo said, glaring. "Our deal was supposed to be that we help each other get the one we want, so why are you going after Ranma honey, huh?"
Ryoga blushed and gritted his teeth. "It's not like that!" he declared. "H-how much did you hear anyway...?" he asked, blushing and calming down his tone.
"I didn't hear much..." Ukyo said, blushing in embarrassment. She was too shocked at the moment to really listen in to what they were saying. "What's your deal with Ranma anyway, are you really into him or are you planning on being some pervert and two timing Akane and Ranma!" she accused. "I-it's not like Ranma would be into that sort of thing, s-so, don't even try it!"
"I-I'm not trying to do anything!" Ryoga shouted.
"Ryoga! What's going on?" Akane shouted from another room, concern in her tone.
Ukyo narrowed her eyes and glared at Ryoga, leaning on the window frame. "What's going on with you and Ranma honey, do you like Ranma?"
Ryoga's emotions where so conflicted that his face contorted into many expressions, his first facial expression was to be angry, but that simmered down to a depressed face, then that face became a confused one. "I-I don't know..." he blushed, clenching his fists as he looked down to the floor. "Maybe we're friends... maybe we're not..."
"Why can't you just give me a straight forward answer?" Ukyo said, his answer not really helping her understand the situation.
"I just don't know what Ranma is to me..." Ryoga confessed. "And now I don't even know what Akane is to me either."
Foxes from the foxxy~